Here's comes Peter Cottontail, hopping round the Bunny trail, Hippity-Hoppity Easters on it's way! And here's the bunny footprints to prove it!
These cute little mouthfuls of crisp butter cookie, are so easy to make, and unlike many cookie cutter style doughs, this one does not require chilling. Did I hear an 'amen' to the last minute Easter gift?
To be honest, these were supposed to be Easter Egg shapes, and I was experimenting for the first time with the Line and Flood method of cookie icing as blogged by Biscuiteers here.
Basically you use a Royal Icing in a bottle with a fine nozzle, to outline your shape, then thin the icing a little to 'flood' the inner shape, with the outline containing the icing cleverly.
Well, for a first timer, this was all a bit daunting. Not only that, but I had five birthdays this week, three of which required lavish lace trimmed pillowcases and hand made cards and paper. It's also the end of term, my daughter was in the Talent Quest finals and had exams, and I've somehow become head of a Steerage Committee to gain funding for a new Performing Arts Complex at her school. Can I hear a 'how the heck did that happen?' from the audience....lol!
So I cheated. Yes, me. I do it occasionally. I went to a specialty kitchen store to spend $3 on a small egg shaped cookie cutter, and left with a bottle of ready prepared 'Cookie Icing' as well. Nozzle and all. It called to me. What can I say?
First I baked the cookies. They looked cute even like this, and I could envisage decorating them just with tinted sugar if all went pear shaped....or egg shaped in this case.
But a promise is a promise, even if only to oneself, so I was compelled to try this Line and Flood thing, no matter the outcome. The bottle of icing was heated on 50% power for 20 seconds to make it runny, as instructed on the bottle. To my mind, this made it a bit too runny and the outlines were not as controlled and fine as I would have liked, as you see below.
They were set aside for 5 minutes to harden, and the remainder of the icing was watered down slightly (with about a half a teaspoon of water and a few drops of vanilla essence) and tinted a delicate pink, which I then used to 'flood'. That bit was easy. Squeeze a tiny bit of runny icing inside the outline, turn the cookie quickly to fill, and set aside. After each dozen or so, I stopped and added pearl pink cachous as decorations. It's these I think that inspired my friend to exclaim 'they're bunny footprints!', and so they now are. The pink pearl cachous, placed more strategically, would certainly look like little foot pads. Nonetheless, they're a pretty effect even like this.
Here's the cookie recipe I used. This makes 70-80 little cookies.
100gms (3 1/2ozs) softened butter
100gms (3 1/2 ozs) superfine white sugar
1 egg, beaten
275gms (10 ozs) plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I suggest using one of the Biscuiteer recipes as my expertise doesn't yet extend to that, having used one out of a bottle...lol! Feel free to take the same shortcut. It certainly made my life easier for a $6.95 investment!
Pearl pink cake decorating cachous
Preheat the oven to 170C/340F fan forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar until well combined.
Beat in the egg and vanilla, a little at a time.
STIR in the flour (don't use your beaters!), until the mixture forms a soft dough.
Line your bench with a large sheet of baking (parchment) paper, and tear off a second piece around the same size. Put the dough on the bottom sheet, and top with the second sheet to prevent the dough sticking to your rolling pin. Roll to about 1cm or 1/2 an inch thick.
Use the egg shaped cutter to cut as many cookies as possible, reforming a dough ball and re-rolling it as required. Place the cookies onto lined trays.
Bake for 5-7 minutes, until firm and barely golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Using your nozzled container, quickly and as deftly as you can manage, outline your cookie shapes, and set them aside to harden for five minutes.
Thin your icing as instructed, adding a drop of colour if you wish, and squeeze a little runny icing inside each outline, swirling it to fill the space.
Add pearl cachous to decorate.
They're now ready to be packaged in your preferred manner.